Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Keane Lopez.
Joanna, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My childhood memories are filled with having horses as neighbors, catching wild kittens, eating red & green chili, and walking along acequias in the north and south valleys of the city. Early on in my 20s, I became interested in adobe architecture, natural dyes, and engagement with land-based materials as forms of art making. I apprenticed with Anita Rodríguez and Carole Crews in Taos, New Mexico to learn the art of the enjarradora (traditional woman plasterer) who works with a type of clay slip called alíz.
After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art from The University of New Mexico, I worked on large-scale public installations engaging adobe architectural forms and materials of mud bricks, natural pigments, lime wash, and reflective surfaces. I created projects with New Mexico Arts: Art in Public Places, The Harwood Art Center, The National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum and was a grant recipient of the Fulcrum Fund of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am an artist, builder & organizer who works with site-specific installation and public art. My sculptural practice is inspired from an interdisciplinary approach to public, participatory and social engagement. I primarily work with the materials of adobe architecture, earthen plaster and aliz (a clay slip paint) to address conceptions of sculpture in engagement with land.
I have worked with a lot of different mediums, although ultimately I find that a common thread ties several themes together throughout. These themes or should I say values emphasize land-based materials, interaction, and engagement with the environment in an effort to either understand it on a deeper level or to mold it, an importance of feminine and feminist perspectives, as well as concepts surrounding beauty, fragility, and decay.
What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I believe the role of artists in today’s world has definitely changed. I am a strong advocate for community engagement, creative placemaking, and artistic activism. I believe in the power of artists working in communities, with government services, and within the social structure to incite change and creative solutions.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My website is a good place: www.joannakeanelopez.com and my Instagram also has some goodies on past work and upcoming projects @jokeanelopez
- Website: www.joannakeanelopez.com
- Instagram: @jokeanelopez
- Other: http://tierrafirmeprojects.com/joanna-keane-lopez-contemporary-artist-adobera
Joanna Keane Lopez